Former nurse Sr. Davenport dies


CLINTON — Sister Marie de Lourdes, OSF, a retired nurse, died Aug. 31at the Alverno. She was 92.

Sister Marie de Lourdes (Bertha Louise) was born on May 14, 1924, in Peoria, Ill., the only child of Jesse and Frances (Miller) Davenport. A convert to Catholicism, she was baptized at St. Paul Church, Burlington, Iowa, on June 15, 1944.

Sr. Davenport
Sr. Davenport

She attended elementary and high school in Roseville, Ill., graduating in 1943. After graduation, she entered Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Burlington. She received her diploma in nursing in 1946, and her R.N. in 1947. She held nursing certification for Iowa and Illinois.

She also attended Mount St. Clare College in Clinton after entering the congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis at Clinton on Sept. 8, 1948. She received the name Marie de Lourdes at her reception on June 20, 1949. She made her first profession on Aug. 12, 1951, and her final profession on Aug. 13, 1954


Sr. Davenport ministered in the health care field for 28 years. In Clinton, she served at the former Mount Alverno Home for the Aged from 1951-1952. For 15 years she served as a general duty nurse in health care facilities then owned and staffed by the Clinton Franciscan congregation; St. Francis Hospital in Grinnell, Mercy Hospital in Burlington and St. Francis Hospital in Macomb, Ill. In 1967, she was assigned to Freeport, Grand Bahama, in the Bahama Islands where she served in public health nursing until retiring from active nursing duty in 1979. She returned to Mount St. Clare Convent and served for more than 20 years as driver for sisters living in Clinton.

Sr. Davenport moved with her Franciscan sisters to their new residence, The Canticle, in 1997 and retired there in 2003 where she greeted people and answered the phone in the reception office.

Her funeral was scheduled for Sept. 6 at The Canticle and burial at St. Irenaeus Cemetery.

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